I’m sitting in the grungy hallway of a junior high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The buzzing fluorescent lights highlight the 1970s avocado-green tiles, and illuminate Rob and his brother, Brent, playing volleyball in the gym a few yards ahead of me.
We’re visiting Rob’s family for a week before we head off next month. I’m quickly realizing it’s a good test case for how I’ll cope with transitioning to a boat, at least in terms of exercise. The bad news: it’s been 24 hours and I already feel antsy.
The good news: I just found the girls locker room and danced like a crazy woman to music blasting from my laptop, which made me feel much better.
One thing I’m most anxious about as we embark on our voyage is that I’ll become a bitchy and unhappy person if I can’t get enough exercise. Other people seem slightly concerned, too: for instance, my friend Heather turned to me during an Oula Dance class last week in sudden alarm, asking, “Bri! How are you going to dance on a boat?” Great question, and one that I’ve spent a lot of time pondering.
If you know me at all, you know I don’t sit. I have a standing desk, I bike to work, I do yoga, dance, and strength training. And that’s often all in a single day (thank you, Downtown Dance Collective). Then there’s the outdoor activities that keep me sane and peaceful: hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, cross-country skiing.
Movement is a huge part of who I am and how I relate to the world. I’ve been reading Zero to Cruising and other blogs to learn how other cruisers deal. I know that sailing is active, and that I’ll use my body plenty onboard.
But I’m still anticipating that I’ll need to learn to let go of the antsy feeling that wells up when I stay put.
I’ll need to learn to breathe through the frustration of not being able to hop on my bike and ride hard uphill. Most importantly, I’ll need to be creative in the small, confined space. Pushups, lunges and sit-ups will get boring fast.
That’s why I’m planning on dancing my way across the Pacific. I might not get to make big turns or long leaps. And I won’t look nearly as cool as I did in the performance picture to the left (note: this is how I picture myself when I dance … even in grungy junior high locker rooms). But that won’t stop me from dancing on the bow — even if I have to wear a life jacket and strap myself to the mast.
Stay tuned for videos and posts on how I stay fit, sane and (hopefully) pleasant during our Pacific crossing. Meanwhile, I’m going to do a set of jumping jacks to stay pleasant here in Pennsylvania while I wait for Rob.